2022 is coming to an end. Here at spielpunkt we played one or the other board game and video game during that time. Some were brand new and others had been on the market for a number of years. We had fun with most titles. You can find out which titles that each of us played for the first time this year that left a particularly good impression in our personal top 3. In addition to some titles from the current year, there are also some “older” titles here.
Madden NFL 23
Oh, it's kind of a déjà vu with the Madden series again this year. Somehow everything stayed the same, somehow not. Yes, in part this year's edition even feels like a real advancement. Still, it wasn't enough for the really big hit. It seems like the devs wanted to rub it in – as they do every year now – that Madden NFL is ripe for major change. You just don't really dare.
The football simulation is still good, especially when it comes to the field. With buttery smooth animations, good atmosphere and a feeling pretty close to a live broadcast, Electronic Arts manages to tie the real fan to the gamepad again this year. With regular patches and updates, you then keep the motivation high, first during the current NFL season until the Super Bowl and then to bridge the time until the start of the next season with football in a meaningful way. A year without Madden NFL? Unthinkable for a lover of American ball sports.
Marvel's Midnight Suns
You already suspected that Firaxis would deliver in a strategy game. That Marvel's Midnight Suns would be so good, however, was a surprise in the end. Sure, the developer didn't succeed in everything - especially away from the battlefields, the turn-based strategy game with role-playing elements distributed by 2K seems quite mechanical, but as soon as you have the opportunity to tinker with your hero deck, some weaknesses are quickly forgotten.
Marvel's Midnight Suns is something of a cross between an excellent strategy game and a solid RPG title. It's not all bad when it comes to role-playing. On the contrary: the story aspect is convincing, especially the dialogues with the comic characters are a fan's delight, because there is plenty to discover. The fact that the content of one or the other conversation seems superfluous, sometimes silly - forget it.
In purely gaming terms, Marvel's Midnight Suns is a real bench and without the best Marvel video game of the year. In the absence of real competition, it's not difficult, but Firaxis' achievements are still to be commended - and the courage to actually tease something aside from pure action out of a Marvel license.
Dune Spice Wars
Dune. Strategy. funcom. That worked wonderfully. The Norwegian game studio behind rather bulky titles like Age of Conan, The Secret World or Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden has landed a coup with Dune Spice Wars. The developers weren't really believed to be capable of this, because there was a great danger that the game could somehow be screwed up based on the popular license.
Also against the background of the genre mix - Dune Spice Wars is a real-time strategy game with 4X elements - it was not made particularly easy for yourself. After many months of early access, it can now be said that the combination works. And it works exceptionally well in the case of Dune Spice Wars. Maybe it's because Shiro Games is responsible for the development and Funcom only acts as a publisher, or it's because the clever game idea really hit a nerve with the times. Because: strategy games – on a turn basis as well as in real time – are celebrating a strong comeback. With Dune Spice Wars you jump on the train of success, but then you don't just ride along, but create a bunch of unique selling points. Chapeau, Shiro Games!
The interactive film video game Immortality was quite the surprise in its intensity. The game for Windows PC and Xbox Series X/S was only launched in the summer, later versions for Android and iOS followed via Netflix Games.
Even the basic idea is twisted: the main role is played by a fictional model who has acted in three films. Filmed in 1968, 1970 and 1999, however, the strips were never released - and actress Marissa Marcel (Manon Gage) has even been missing since then. It is now up to the player to solve the puzzle. Sound simple? Yes, it isn't.
Especially not because you are confronted with sometimes tough sequences. Immortality is a cinematic-playful psycho-trip in which you have to manipulate the shocking moments from the film snippets on the gamepad yourself.
God of War Ragnarok
Hardly any player could avoid Kratos and Atreus in 2022 - the only requirement: a Playstation. And a little desire for a Nordic setting couldn't hurt either. On the Metacritic platform, God of War Ragnarök is one of the best video games of the year in terms of rating - despite minor weaknesses in the B rating, the action adventure suitable for the masses is convincing. Only the high proportion of cutscenes in relation to the pure gameplay may have left one or the other player at a loss.
Nevertheless, the sequel was the masterpiece that many fans had hoped for. The main story alone lasted around 30 hours, after which you could extend the gaming experience if you wanted to. In the end, the focus is on the impressions and special moments that the adventure offers. Incidentally, it is all the more useful to have played the predecessor as well. So before you start God of War Ragnarök you should catch up on that - it shouldn't be to the detriment of the player: the predecessor was and is also a guarantee of fun.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Rarely has Star Wars been so funny and comprehensive on the big screen. For fans, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is an absolute must and a highlight of 2022. All nine films have been cobbled together into one gigantic game. However, the great moments of the Skywalker saga can be experienced again in the Lego video game from a different, humorous point of view. There is no lack of epic scenes from the templates, but some of them have been turned into such absurd proportions that in the end it's great fun - for fans of the films, but also for everyone else who otherwise doesn't know much about Star Wars .
Away from the stories, the game is bursting with discoveries. This is doubly successful due to the great game world. Almost everything consists of Lego building blocks – at least the relevant objects. That alone is a huge difference compared to the previous Lego video games.
Especially for collectors, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a jack of all trades. There are over 300 figures, divided into classes such as Jedi or soldiers and always equipped with individual skills. Star Wars fans cannot ignore this game, nor can Lego fans. It is one of the best games of recent years based on the colorful clamping blocks.
If there's one video game in 2022 that got everyone talking, it was the Elden Ring. From Software's rock-solid action role-playing game was one of the best video games of the year, but at the same time, despite all the good reviews, it wasn't a particularly mass-market game. However, due to the ongoing hype, it sold like hot cakes.
In Elden Ring, players always walk a fine line between pleasure and frustration. Great game moments, the satisfying feeling after a successful boss fight and the ingenious game world are the strengths of the title. The high level of difficulty, on the other hand, is not for everyone – Elden Ring is not particularly easy to play. Sometimes the adventure itself feels like hard work: it motivates just as much as it can demotivate. Still, given the quality of this video game, there's little doubt that Elden Ring is one of the best, if not the best, game of the year.
Fifa 22 / Fifa 23
New year, new Fifa and me... yes, I'm always there. Fifa is probably the game I've played the most this year and my absolute Guilty Pleasure game. It's simple, you don't have to think much and you can just switch off while playing. Especially this year, in which I went through a lot of university stress, Fifa was a quick distraction from everyday life.
I hardly ever played it online though. I spent most of my time in career mode, in which I played my self-created club, or actually the regionally based Bonner SC, from the third division to the Bundesliga and up to the Champions League. When the goal was achieved, I often switched to 1. FC Köln to be able to crown them champions as well.
Fifa and EA Sports FC in the future will certainly continue to accompany me in the years to come. That's why I like to play it again and again, with the idea of "just playing one or two games". Most of the time I sit in front of the console for hours looking for young talent, manage my club and play game after game in a row. So I have to let Fifa 22 and the new part take first place, because no other game was played as often this year as Fifa.
Deathloop... What a crazy game... And how much fun I had with it. Arkane Studios, the game developer behind well-known games like Dishonored or Prey, dared to come up with an interesting game concept. We slip into the role of Colt, who wakes up in the morning on the beach of Blackreef Island with no memories whatsoever. He quickly learns that the island is stuck in a time warp that was deliberately triggered by the island's inhabitants. We also get to feel this quickly, since we are murdered right at the beginning by a woman named Juliana. Colt then wakes up again early in the morning on the beach.
And every day the groundhog greets... Or rather Julianna, because our goal is to break this time warp. Julianna, on the other hand, wants to protect this time warp. With each so-called loop that we go through, we learn more and more about the island and how we can break the time loop. This is what makes the game so appealing. As we always want to learn more, we take different paths every day, uncovering more and more secrets that we can use to break the loop.
I was so drawn into the story and exploration of the island (which, by the way, also completely changes locations depending on the time of day, giving even more room to explore) that I completed Deathloop in one go. Even Fifa - yes, the game that destroys all my ambitions to play more big titles and increases my pile of shame - I have ignored.
Horizon forbidden west
In general, this year was the year in which I actually played less video games than board games for the first time. And when I wasn't playing Fifa, Horizon Forbidden West was being played. Along with God of War: Ragnarök and Elden Ring, Horizon was one of the biggest releases arguably on Playstation.
Horizon Forbidden West has awakened many memories of the excellent first part and has always made me look back on my gaming sessions with satisfaction. Just like in the predecessor, I am always fascinated by the beautiful game world and its flora and fauna. It is also exciting to get to know the new machine types and to be able to exploit their weaknesses in combat.
Even though I've played very little this year and I still haven't beat Horizon Forbidden West, it's one of the games I've enjoyed the most. Now that the stress-free period is beginning, I can finally fully immerse myself in the world of Horizon and I'm excited to see what it has in store for me.
Honorable mentions: Ken: Bridge of Spirits - Sweet, Pixar-like action-adventure in which we, as a spirit guide, lead spirits from the world of the living to the realm of the dead; Root - cute video adaptation of the popular asymmetrical board game. On the Switch a great companion for long train journeys.
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Last updated on 26.05.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API